To get the most value out of your accounts and services, you need the right information. Minimizing fees is all about choosing the best accounts to meet your financial needs, making smart choices in the services you use on a daily basis, and managing your account balance effectively.

Choosing the right accounts can help you avoid monthly service fees

When choosing an account, think about how you plan to use the account and the services you will need on a regular basis. Many accounts provide options to avoid a monthly service fee based on how you use or manage the account, such as by:

  • Maintaining a daily minimum account balance
  • Setting up direct deposit of your paycheck or other income

Keep in mind that options to avoid the monthly service fee may change at a future date. Wells Fargo keeps you informed of your current monthly service fee and ways to avoid the fee in the Monthly Service Fee Summary. The Monthly Service Fee Summary is available on your paper and online statement, and in your mobile and online banking secure session.

Making smart service choices can help you avoid fees

In many instances, a fee-based service has a free or lower-cost alternative that will allow you to achieve the same goal.

For example, Wells Fargo charges a fee for a balance inquiry at non-Wells Fargo ATMs. You can avoid this fee by using a Wells Fargo ATM, and you can get the same balance information with your phone, at no charge*, by using mobile or text banking, or by calling us anytime at 1-800-869-3557 (1-800-TO-WELLS).

*Texting/mobile phone fees may apply.

When you need money from your account, but you are not near your bank’s ATM network, consider making a small purchase at a nearby vendor and getting cash back from the transaction rather than paying a withdrawal fee for using an out-of-network ATM. If you decide to use a non-Wells Fargo ATM, think about how much cash you will need over several days and withdraw the full amount at one time rather than paying for a series of small withdrawals.

Managing your account to help avoid overdraft fees

You need to have enough funds in your account to cover all the transactions that you initiate. If the bank pays for an item on your behalf when you don’t have enough money in your account, this creates an overdraft or negative balance in your account. The amount needs to be repaid promptly, and you may be charged an overdraft fee. Alternatively, the bank may return the item unpaid and a returned item (non-sufficient funds/NSF) fee will be charged. If this happens, you may be charged additional late fees or penalties from the merchant who was expecting the payment.

The most effective way to avoid overdraft and returned item (non-sufficient funds/NSF) fees is to keep an accurate record of your transactions and check your available balance before making a purchase or withdrawal. Use your transaction register to record every deposit and withdrawal you make whether it is by check, ATM, debit card, or automatic payment (e.g., your car payment or gym membership). An overdraft protection service can help with the cost and inconvenience of overdrafts or returned items.

NOTE: The available balance may not reflect all of your transactions, such as checks you have written or card transactions that have been approved but not yet submitted for payment by the merchant.

Additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Direct deposit not only helps you avoid monthly service fees, it also offers a convenient, fast and safe way for you to access recurring income. 
  • Use your savings account to build up your savings. Use your checking accounts to manage your daily withdrawals and transfers. Savings accounts, by federal regulation, have restrictions on the number of withdrawals and transfers through electronic methods, such as debit or ATM card purchases or online or mobile transfers, that can be made from them each statement period. (There is no limit on transfers and withdrawals at a branch or ATM). More than six transfers and withdrawals per statement period will trigger an excess activity fee for each occurrence. Remember that savings accounts might be closed or converted to a checking account if you exceed the number of transfers and withdrawals on more than an occasional basis. Keep track.
  • Wells Fargo offers services, such as online and mobile banking and text alerts, that help you monitor your account balance. Keep in mind that your available balance does not include transactions that we don’t know about yet, for example checks you have just written or the car payment you just authorized. Only you know all the transactions that will affect the balance you have available for making that next payment.
  • Consider using overdraft services. At Wells Fargo, when you link an eligible Wells Fargo savings or credit account to your checking account, the bank will use available funds in your linked account(s) to authorize your transactions if you don't have enough money in your checking account.

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